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wor·​ship ˈwər-shəp How to pronounce worship (audio)
 also  ˈwȯr-
worshipped also worshiped; worshipping also worshiping

transitive verb

: to honor or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power
: to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion
a celebrity worshipped by her fans

intransitive verb

: to perform or take part in worship or an act of worship
worshipper noun
or less commonly worshiper


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: reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power
also : an act of expressing such reverence
: a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual
: extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem
worship of the dollar
chiefly British : a person of importance
used as a title for various officials (such as magistrates and some mayors)
Choose the Right Synonym for worship

revere, reverence, venerate, worship, adore mean to honor and admire profoundly and respectfully.

revere stresses deference and tenderness of feeling.

a professor revered by her students

reverence presupposes an intrinsic merit and inviolability in the one honored and a similar depth of feeling in the one honoring.

reverenced the academy's code of honor

venerate implies a holding as holy or sacrosanct because of character, association, or age.

heroes still venerated

worship implies homage usually expressed in words or ceremony.

worships their memory

adore implies love and stresses the notion of an individual and personal attachment.

we adored our doctor

Examples of worship in a Sentence

Verb Many ancient cultures worshipped the sun and moon. They worship at this temple. I worship God in my own way. Noun worship of gods and goddesses Worship services are held daily. the media's worship of celebrities
Recent Examples on the Web
The Prophet Muhammad encouraged his followers to remember and worship God during an eclipse, inviting his disciples to worship with him at the mosque until the cosmic event passed, says Aydin. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 5 Apr. 2024 Ahmadi Muslims believe having a separate space for men and women in the mosques allows each gender to worship without distraction. Lauren Costantino, Miami Herald, 3 Apr. 2024 Today’s great reads How one man in South Korea rearranged his life to worship Dodger superstar Shohei Ohtani. Anthony De Leon, Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2024 The church, whose congregation is about 50% white, 25% Black and 25% foreign-born, changed its name to People's Church in 2012 to reflect its racial diversity, including 30-plus nationalities worshiping and working there, according to its website. Randy Tucker, The Enquirer, 14 Mar. 2024 Israel has said there has been no change to the status quo, which allows only Muslims to worship at the compound. Raja Abdulrahim, New York Times, 11 Mar. 2024 Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians come to worship at this mosque that has sat for more than a millennium on a site that both Muslims and Jews claim as sacred ground. Sufian Taha, Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2024 There are spiritually rich and observant ways to worship that include delaying or forgoing a fast. Azmia Ricchuito, SELF, 7 Mar. 2024 Social media brimmed with a wide range of emotions triggered by Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s romance, many of the comments from adults still haunted by high school memories of worshiping and/or hating the untouchable Queen and King of the prom. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 12 Feb. 2024
And the music and the praise and worship became the service. Sid Evans, Southern Living, 1 Apr. 2024 The morning worship is piped in through loudspeakers. Sandhya Dirks, NPR, 30 Mar. 2024 Image Some partake in worship, called puja, offering prayers to the gods. Hari Kumar, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2024 Hailing from South Carolina, Lake is a member of the contemporary worship music collective Maverick City Music. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, 13 Mar. 2024 At the center of the separatist movement is the oldest Sikh house of worship in America: the Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple, a collection of modest brick buildings located near a rail yard just south of downtown Stockton. Jaweed Kaleem, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2024 Muslims observe Ramadan by increasing our worship, which includes prayers, giving to charity, and fasting from food and drink from sunrise to sundown. Azmia Ricchuito, SELF, 7 Mar. 2024 The former president’s campaign rallies have become increasingly similar to megachurch services, Kaylor said, playing worship music and with collective prayers for the crowd. Will Carless, USA TODAY, 7 Mar. 2024 Still, the church presents an enormous undertaking, likely one of the largest houses of worship for Latino evangelicals in Milwaukee. Sophie Carson, Journal Sentinel, 28 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'worship.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English worþschipen, worschepen, worshippen "to hold in honor, esteem, show respect for, revere (a deity), conduct religious rites," derivative of wurðscip, worschip "honor, esteem, religious faith, rank, value" — more at worship entry 2


Middle English wurðscip, worschip "honor, esteem, renown, veneration, religious faith, a person's social standing, rank, value," going back to Old English weorþscipe, wurþscipe "honor, esteem, veneration, dignity," from weorþ, wyrþ, as noun "value" and as adjective "valuable, having status, deserving" + -scipe -ship — more at worth entry 1, worth entry 3

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of worship was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near worship

Cite this Entry

“Worship.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worship. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
wor·​ship ˈwər-shəp How to pronounce worship (audio)
chiefly British : an important person
used as a title for some officials
: great respect toward a divine being or supernatural power
: the outward showing of such respect
: too great admiration or devotion
worship of money


2 of 2 verb
worshipped also worshiped; worshipping also worshiping
: to honor or respect as a divine being or supernatural power
: to treat with too great respect, honor, or devotion : idolize
worshipped popular singers
: to perform or take part in worship
worshipper noun
or worshiper


Middle English worshipe "worthiness, respect, reverence paid to a divine being," from Old English weorthscipe "worthiness, respect," from weorth "worth, worthy" and -scipe "-ship (quality, condition)"

More from Merriam-Webster on worship

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